I Hope One Person Quits Smoking Because of This Blog
The American Lung Association is sharing inspiring stories from individuals who have ended their addiction to tobacco and become smokefree. Quitting smoking isn't easy, but it is possible – and we firmly believe that anyone can quit with the right support. If you, or someone you know, would like to quit smoking, share with them the new, interactive Freedom From Smoking® Plus.
Have your own quit story to share? Leave a comment below and we'll work together to showcase your success and inspire others to start their quit.
I was 9 years old, with a few friends, and one of them got cigarettes from their parents. We went to a sandpit in our neighborhood, and I had my first puff. I turned green. But that was the beginning of my love for cigarettes.
When I was sad, happy, stressed out, after dinner, when I woke up, when I drove my car – there are so many reasons I had to smoke. Nothing happened in my life without a cigarette. I smoked a pack a day for 44 years, even when I had bronchitis and was coughing out of control. Looking back, it was insane behavior.
I tried to quit without success. New Year's Resolutions were short-lived. I was into sports when I was younger, so I would try to get back into shape and quit at the same time. Nothing I tried seemed to work. I could not break the addiction of smoking.
I was at the hospital in 2014 and saw a sign for a free CT-scan of my lungs. They found scarring. I had a round of antibiotics and another scan two months later. They said not to worry but I knew deep inside that there was an issue. At the same time, my father-in-law got so sick from smoking that he was put on oxygen. I knew I couldn't go through something like that, so I enrolled in the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program at the hospital.
Through the eight-week program, I did all the things they told me to do: the readings, setting a quit date, throwing out all of my smokes, lighters and ashtrays, and I quit. It was not easy. I used a nicotine patch to help with cravings and a lot of willpower. I'd take any help I could get because quitting smoking was the hardest thing I've ever done.
I had a few slips since I first quit in 2014, but I've been smokefree for the last 171 days. I plan on celebrating my first year completely smokefree and every year for the rest of my life. I used to smoke over 7,000 cigarettes a year – which is insane! – but I'm down to NONE.
My life is so much better now that I'm smokefree. I can get on the treadmill, walk two miles and breathe without a problem. I've saved $10 a day from not buying cigarettes – that's $3,650 a year! I think I'm going to buy a motorcycle as a reward. I feel great being smokefree.
It's not easy to quit, but if you try hard enough, it can be done. Say to yourself you can do it, and take it one day at a time. Think about your grandchildren and how you don't have to smell like a cigarette. You will not regret it. I hope that I can get at least one person to quit through this blog.
Related Topic: Tobacco & Smoking
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